Located a few hours off the island of Coron in the Phillipines, Kalanggaman Island is a favorite day trip for scuba divers. The wall dives and plethora of tropical fish are spectacular, as is the sand bar stretching into the ocean with sand so white and fine one could almost mistake it to be icing sugar.
2. Little Corn Island, Nicaragua
With no motorized vehicles, a population of roughly 1200 people, and an area of less than three square kilometers, this lovely Caribbean island off the east coast of Nicaragua, accessible only by airplane and then short panga ride from Big Corn Island, is a hidden gem. With fantastic diving and snorkeling there is nothing more to do than enjoy the distinctly Caribbean atmosphere. Also, don’t miss out on the short hike to the radio tower for a spectacular 360 view of the island.
3. Whitsunday Island, Australia
An easy-to-see-why tourist day trip hotspot, this particular island is one in a chain of 74 islands off the east coast of Australia. With blues every shade from azure to turquoise and sand as white as snow from its almost pure silica composition, it’s no wonder this island is such a popular place to visit. Just beware the jellyfish stingers in the water if you go swimming.
4. Si Phan Don (4000 Islands), Laos
Commonly referred to as the emerald at the end of the necklace of the Mekong River, 4000 Islands is not to be missed if you happen to find yourself in Laos. There are a couple islands you can stay on: Don Det which is intended more for the backpacker crowd and quieter Don Khone if you’re looking for privacy. Either way, soak up the beautiful atmosphere, suntan with the bulls on the beach, and enjoy a bike ride around the islands to check out the largest waterfalls in Southeast Asia.
5. South Sea Island, Fiji
Literally only an arms throw across, you can circumnavigate this tiny island in the Fijian chain of islands in less than five minutes. With only one building on the island to house a limited number of guests, this could quite possibly be the tiniest tourist island. Impressive corals and fish are mere steps off the island for scuba enthusiasts and private hammocks, beach chairs, and umbrellas abound for the lucky tourists who day trip out to the island for a little bit of r&r in this remarkable Fijian island.
6. Galapagos Islands
This group of 18 major islands hardly need any boasting. A landing point for Darwin on his journey around the world and a major player in his Theory of Evolution, these islands are home to some of the most fantastic endemic animals in the world. From several-hundred year old tortoises to playful sea lions and marine iguanas, you’ll feel like a kid again as you explore the diversity of each animal species. And don’t forget the birds, volcanic environment, surfing, and world-class scuba diving. These islands truly do have it all for the nature lover.
7. Isla de Ometepe, Nicaragua
An island created out of two volcanoes, one of which is still active, Ometepe Island is actually in the middle of Lago de Nicaragua, a freshwater lake. You can climb both volcanoes but Concepcion is definitely a challenge (to the left in the photo) and enjoy the beaches, the freshwater, and the quiet serenity of being off the mainland.
8. Sipadan, Malaysia, Borneo
Lots of the islands listed are linked with scuba diving and Sipadan is no exception as it is one of the top locations for some of the world’s best diving. The island itself is now a protected marine park with only 120 permits a day given to scuba divers who enjoy a lunch break on the island. If you ever happen to be wandering around Borneo, a trip out to Sipadan is well worth the money you pay for it.
9. Isla Del Sol, Lake Titicaca, Bolivia
Isla del Sol is a beautiful island on the Bolivian side of Lake Titicaca that claims the title of World’s Highest Lake at 3700 meters above sea level. Its harsh but stunning landscape can be hiked across in a day with visits to over 80 ancient Incan ruins and trails but you’ll probably want to spend a night or two in this peaceful haven. Another added bonus and reason to visit? No running vehicles anywhere on the island.
10. Half Moon Caye Island, Belize
Located a few hours by day trip from both mainland Belize as well as Ambergris and Caye Caulker islands, this island is another scuba diver paradise. Not just for underwater adventurers though, bird-lovers will also appreciate the red-footed booby nesting site as well as the impressive frigatebirds remarkable mating displays.